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From the September Issue

‘It’s Not Like They Need the Money’

An accountability watchdog says some of Site Selection’s Top Deals belong at the bottom instead, including what he calls the “worst deal” of 2021.

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From the September Issue


Trust — It Does an Economy Good

A new report from the Inter-American Development Bank finds that mistrust is an acute problem that limits socioeconomic development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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From the September Issue


Where to Find the Future

After 60 years as the medicine cabinet of the United States, Puerto Rico’s life sciences ecosystem has entered new dimensions.

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Austin’s office fit-out costs are the lowest of those tracked by JLL in 52 North American markets.
Archive photo by Heather Overman

JLL this week released its 2022 U.S. & Canada Office Fit Out Guide, a 33-page office construction benchmarking report. Amid the report’s useful tables, market spotlights and appendices you’ll find data on 52 North American markets. When I extracted the numbers and ranked the markets by lowest fit-out costs, I found that the top three — and four of the top eight — were in red-hot Texas, led by white-hot Austin. The table shows the 10 lowest-cost markets of those 52 when measured by average fit-out costs per rentable square foot for a moderate-style, medium-quality office. — Adam Bruns

Market Fit-Out Hard Costs (US$ per sq. ft.)
Austin 203
Fort Worth 205
San Antonio 205
Jacksonville 206
Raleigh 207
Hampton Roads 208
Houston 208
Indianapolis 208
Orlando 209
Richmond 209




Making a Splash

Just in time for the PGA Championship taking place this week one state to the north, meet the Texas entrepreneur who’s turning bad golf shots into money.

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From the September Issue


How Texas Hooks ‘Em

Elon Musk and Tesla join the march to the Lone Star State.

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Leaders from Double Negative (DNEG), the London-based visual effects and animation studio whose work has won seven Academy Awards for “Best VFX” in recent years, were joined by Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Global CEO Stephen Lund for the official opening of their fourth North American studio location last week. The firm said more than 150 new employees had already been hired: “The company remains on track to hire 200 employees for its Toronto studio in year one, including many new technology positions,” DNEG said, “and is planning to scale the studio even further in year two in response to demand from clients for its premium VFX and animation services.” DNEG said it has embraced a flexible, hybrid in-office workforce approach to address ongoing COVID-19 precautions and to maximize the company’s appeal in securing top talent. “We remain committed to our long-term growth strategy,” said DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra, “as DNEG expands from feature film and episodic TV content to take advantage of opportunities in adjacent markets, including gaming and the metaverse.” The company’s current headcount of 1,500 in Canada includes approximately 850 in Montreal and 520 in Vancouver, which includes the company’s new DNEG Animation location in Vancouver, and its ReDefine brand, which has employees in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. DNEG employs nearly 7,000 people at locations that also include Los Angeles, and Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai and Mumbai in India.

Source: Conway Analytics

South Carolina

Imagine 75 million sandwiches. That’s how many more sandwiches ready-to-eat sandwich, burrito and baked goods company E.A. Sween Co. figures to be making after a new $38 million, 300-job operation is completely up and running in Hodges in Greenwood County, located in Upstate South Carolina. “From the moment we first visited the community, we knew it was a perfect fit,” E.A. Sween Company President and CEO Tom H. Sween said at the announcement yesterday. “South Carolina is a place where people, partnerships, relationships and opportunity matter to everyone we came across. This is an incredibly important moment in our history as we expand our business and bring quality products closer to our customers in the Southeast and beyond.” The company, which already makes 100 million sandwiches annually, is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (part of the Twin Cities metro area), not far from where late founder Earl August Sween launched the company in Bloomington in 1955.

Source: Conway Analytics




May 2022 Digital Edition of Site Selection Now Available

A screen-based facsimile of the print edition complete with messages from supporting advertisers, the Digital Edition features the publication’s Global Best to Invest rankings of countries and global metros; Prosperity Cup rankings of U.S. states; Mac Conway Awards for top U.S. economic development groups; and Top Deals of the year in North America. You’ll also find a top-notch resource guide to economic development agencies, with live links directly to their websites.

The May Digital Edition includes industry reports on water supply, the North American automotive scene and health tech and life sciences, as well as expert coverage of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Quebec. In addition to the in-depth Charlotte Region Intelligence Report and Costa Rica Investment Report, you’ll also find state spotlights on Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado and Utah, and regional roundups from New England and the Great Lakes. And don’t miss the Site Selection Investment Profiles about 10 different territories and organizations: Jamaica; Consumers Energy territory in Michigan; Delaware; Puerto Rico; Greater Philadelphia; Greater Richmond; Wilmer, Texas; Grupo Karim’s in Honduras; Florida; and Salt River Project territory in Arizona.

It’s 216 pages of business intelligence you’ll find nowhere else, designed to inform how you approach your company’s site portfolio and location decision-making.



Light lingers until after 10 p.m. on a summer night along Strandvägen (“beach road”), located in Östermalm in central Stockholm.

Photo by Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Courtesy of Image Bank Sweden

If you’re wondering why the Nordic countries always seem to top global rankings of places to do business, work and live, Nordregio offers its share of evidence. A research institute focused on regional development, policy and planning, the Stockholm-based organization is an official research entity of Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Watch for insights from Nordregio and other valuable resources in a spotlight on the Nordics appearing in the July issue of Site Selection.



Fresh off emcee duties at the World Forum for FDI in Edinburgh last week, Site Selection Vice President of Sales and lifelong golfer Charles FitzGibbon and his wife Suzy made the pilgrimage to St. Andrews Golf Club, site of the 150th Open Championship scheduled to take place July 14-17. Word in town was that Tom Watson, the Kansas City-born golf legend who in 2018 became only the fifth “distinguished stranger” (after Tom Morris, Sandy Herd, Bobby Jones and Arnold Palmer) to become an honorary member of The New Golf Club, St. Andrews, was due in town the following day. Among the valued assets in St. Andrews beyond the Old Course is the University of St. Andrews, founded in 1413 and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. Last year the university was ranked the top university in the UK, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, the first time in the near 30-year history of the guide that a university other than Oxford or Cambridge has topped the rankings.